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Saying NO. It’s complicated.
“NO” is also core to feeling more and more emotionally free. It’s the Freedom Word.
Saying NO can be terrifying.
But it’s just two letters! It’s not even a 4-letter word!
Yet, I was punished sometimes for saying NO. You? Saying NO can feel risky – physically, emotionally, and to relationships we hold dear.
If a friend asks you to do something that really is not right for you right now, can you say NO? Do you ever say NO?
We explored this in our People Pleasing Workshop (recording at the link). In order to say NO, we need to feel like we can without punishment or harm – or we have enough of a sense of what matters to us that it gives us confidence even in the face of someone else’s reaction.
This takes emotional skill. It’s a skill that touches on our past traumas, power differentials, and our core values.
So… we hope you’ll join us. Cathy and I will “go there” with you. We’ll tune into where it’s hard to say NO (when it would be better for us if we did). We’ll practice, tap, and build clarity and skillful language around saying AND HEARING the Freedom Word: NO!
P.S. Our Circle Membership - now available for
a one-time payment on a gliding scale.
Circle Members get all Real Skills Workshops (and much more)!
Cathy and I believe consent is core to thriving. If we don’t have a NO, we don’t really have a hearty YES. Right?
We hope you’ll join us!
Rick & Cathy
Your Emotional Freedom Coaches
Schedule Private, Gliding Scale Coaching Sessions Here
P.S. Adira says, “No, not right now. I am savoring the crunchy part of autumn…”
If you can’t say no… how does that feel?
If I can’t say no, I feel trapped. I feel obligated, coerced, pressured, and silently resentful.
I’ve come to realize this:
If I don’t have a NO… I don’t have a meaningful YES!
NO is the Freedom Word. It lets us out of jail. It reduces resentment. It helps us take care of ourselves while also tending to the long-term health of our we-spaces and co-creators.
But I was never taught that! Indeed, part of me objects. Growing up it felt like saying no was “bad” or “selfish.”
How convenient that those who wanted control over me made the biggest deal and made the biggest threats and inflicted the greatest harm if I dared say NO.
Trauma has stood frozen solid behind certain situations where I didn’t have a NO. Being a kind and generous person has made NO complicated. Cultural obligations and business realities… even Love used to make NO harder than it need be.
Is it okay to say NO to someone we love deeply and completely?
But what happens if we do not say NO – ever. Or we mouse our way by apologizing profusely and making all kinds of excuses?
Navigating NO… and consent and resentments and clarity and co-creating… this takes skill. Real Skill.
Cathy has spent enormous energy on exploring consent. She teaches consent practices at events. It’s also dear to me, as you can probably tell .
So when we come together this Sunday for our real skills workshop, it is with tender awareness that saying NO is a Big Deal for many… and so worth practicing to feel more free.
If this would help you, please consider the invitation and say YES… if and only if it is your YES right now. Otherwise, Be Free and Be a NO. Love to you…
P.S. Our Circle Membership - now available for
a one-time payment on a gliding scale.
Circle Members get all Real Skills Workshops (and much more)!
This gliding-scale based EFT Tapping and Coaching session is 90 minutes long. Cathy and I know that for us consent is core to thriving. If we don’t have a NO, we don’t really have a hearty YES. Right?
We hope you’ll join us if this is your YES, too!
Rick & Cathy
Your Emotional Freedom Coaches
Schedule Private, Gliding Scale Coaching Sessions Here
P.S. Adira says, “Aye-aye Ma-Ma-Da-Da! Reporting for duty with my Big Baaah! Tell us to do anything and we’ll say NO! And giggle!”
I’ve gotten stuck on NO.
I can tell something is a NO. I can feel it in my core… “This ___ is a body NO for me.”
I actually do not enjoy saying NO. It feels like freedom to know that I could say NO. It just doesn’t feel all that good to get stuck there.
A doorway I use is:
That is a NO for me. What might be a YES is…
Then I let my creativity explore. It may be, “I’m a yes to spending time together with you, but not at a movie.” Or, “It’s a yes for me to pick you up later once I finish writing this, or you can explore other options.”
NO is a complete sentence. NO matters for Freedom.
But it is our YES’s that we’re looking for. Perhaps the YES is to leave. Perhaps the YES is the end a relationship. A YES need not be “welcomed” by someone who wants to control us. “I understand you expect me to be there. My YES is to stay home and tend to some private matters, and it isn’t open for discussion.”
Notice: when we’re clear on our YES, our NO becomes clearer.
It’s true that practicing saying “No” as a simple sentence is empowering. Learning to accept other people’s NO gives us so much freedom, too! When we’re feeling freedom, our YES can activate our thriving.
This is all leading edge in how we embrace our own self-respect and tend to relationships that are dear to us… all while insuring that we are not nearly as susceptible to manipulation and people-pleasing as perhaps we once were.
Would you like to practice with us?
Join Cathy and me tomorrow, Sunday Nov 13, 2022 at 5pm EST for this Real Skills Workshop. If it isn’t a YES to be there with us live, register and we’ll email you a link to the recording.
P.S. Our Circle Membership - now available for
a one-time payment on a gliding scale.
Circle Members get all Real Skills Workshops (and much more)!
This gliding-scale based EFT Tapping and Coaching session is 90 minutes long. You can even attend free as our gift. Cathy and I know that an empowered and clear YES helps us feel the steel in our NO. Good for our emotional posture!
We hope you’ll join us if this is your YES, too!
Rick & Cathy
Your Emotional Freedom Coaches
Schedule Private, Gliding Scale Coaching Sessions Here
P.S. Adira says, “Say NO when it’s a NO… or there will be a mess to clean up…”
We welcome your insights, ah-ha’s, and sharing. Please! Click [Reply]
Click for Computer Generated Transcript
NO is the Freedom Word
[00:00:00] No is the freedom word. Hmm. What an interesting idea. And one that brings up a lot inside of my gut, I’m Rick from Thriving. Now I’m here with Cathy Vartuli from Thriving Now on the Intimacy Dojo. Cathy, how did it feel to say no when you were a child? , I didn’t even consider saying the word no when I was a child.
[00:00:24] I usually resulted in my mother’s head spinning around in multiple directions and, um, you know, multiple meltdowns and you. Uh, it was just not worth it. The consequences for saying no were so huge that, and we ended up doing it anyway usually, or having to comfort someone who was supposed to be taking care of us.
[00:00:44] So no was something we avoided at all costs and it really affected me a lot growing up because I didn’t know how to say no to folks. I knew how to hint. And hope they would get it. I would like make suggestions and like kind of, you know, Well, I’m not so sure what if we did the, like I would kind of talk around it, but I would never actually say no to anyone and it meant I did a lot of things that I didn’t want to do, including, I remember I was 33 and I was on a date and we’d have nice dinner.
[00:01:13] We were walking through the park and we sat at a park bench and I was literally bent over the set. Arm of the bench to try to get away from him as he was kissing me. And I couldn’t say the word no. And so like, he would, he didn’t hear no, he didn’t pick up the fact that I was contorting my body to try to get away from him.
[00:01:32] Um, and so I ended up doing things like I, he ended up kissing me for quite a while and I didn’t like it or want it. Um, it just took away a lot of my power and my choice. And I think a lot of times I didn’t even think about no inside my head. Like I didn’t even wanna acknowledge that I didn’t like something because I felt I had so little power to actually, to stop anything.
[00:01:55] So I would not even let myself know. And when, I remember when I first started working with Rick, he’d asked me things, What do you like? What do you want? And I’m like, How do you know that? How do you even know what you, what you like if you’ve tuned yourself out of it for so long? And I had to, I had to teach myself.
[00:02:12] I had to do run experiments to figure out, Oh, I had a therapist like, Well, if you don’t know what you like, why don’t you try a different type of eggs each morning? Like, cuz I was always, I ate the eggs. Whatever partner or person was close to me ate. If they like dolets, I like dolets. If they like scrambled, I like scrambled.
[00:02:29] And so I just, every day for a week, I just made different kind of eggs and had to try to teach myself to notice what I wanted. And I think that all stems to the fact no was not part of my vocabulary. It wasn’t one of my, it wasn’t a freedom word to me because it was just not a word I used. Yeah. How did you.
[00:02:51] Well, I’m still, I’m still in the, the energy and I’ve, I’ve been noticing in the chat, you know, someone said, I, I don’t even think I could say no. And that’s what I’m hearing from you. Yeah. Too. And, um,
[00:03:10] it, for me right now, I’m curious what, what stops us from saying no, like in your description? I heard the consequences, um, were, were really significant and also you’re going to have to do it anyway. So there was, there wasn’t, there wasn’t freedom. Zero to 10, how free. How free were you if somebody asked you or told you to, to do something or asked if you, you know, wanted an omelet?
[00:03:53] How free? Zero to 10 did you feel? For me. Yeah. Like, I’d love to see what people think. Um, I, I felt like negative 10, like, and one of the things I’ve noticed, I think that sometimes our parents, and I’m curious, well, who else resonates with this? But my mom often seems like she’s kind of mirror imaged her kids.
[00:04:14] Like we have mirror neurons in our, in our head that identify parts of us. So like if we’re really used to a car, a car, our brain actually mirror images the car and it becomes ours. That’s why people get so upset when someone ds our car because it’s like, feels like a physical assault. I think my mom never learned the difference and mirror image for kids, because right now she’s going through some hard times and she’s like, Your sister’s never here.
[00:04:40] She owes me. I did all this stuff for her. I don’t think she actually realizes we’re not extensions of her in a way. So it’d be almost like saying no to her was like, would be shocking. It’d be like a hand all of a sudden, No, I’m not. I’m gonna do whatever I want and run away. It’d be like, ah. So I don’t think it’s, it’s intentionally mean.
[00:04:57] I think it’s just like her brain has not learned that we’re separate means. So , so someone said, I hate eggs. No way would I say yes. So yeah, I, I actually like eggs, but I was trying to figure out like, what is my style? What do I like? And it was really hard. Um, and if this is bringing up a lot of emotions for you, like you had trauma, Someone tried going to school, going to a hospital.
[00:05:26] Someone said as a kid the no was in a five. Um, just see if you can be gentle with yourself. This can be a really triggering topic because without a no, we don’t have much power. We’re at the whim of the people around us. And for many of us in the generations that are, you know, we’re not, people weren’t as aware of consent and there was a lot of force and a lot of manipulation and like this, that was just kind of normal.
[00:05:54] I’ll span you. If you don’t do what I want, I’ll, I’ll make sure. You know, you wanna see what, what no feels like. This is what it feels like. Um, so I think if we can just be gently, you know, you can do grounding exercises, Take deep breaths and if you need to like step away for a minute or ask to tap, we’re really glad to work with you.
[00:06:14] Yeah. We use, um, I’d like to pause here and, and. Lots coming up for people as we see in the chat. And for me, um, having a a no inside of me as something that I, I have access to is so important. It’s really been a driving initiative inside for my own personal wellbeing and thriving and safety as well as with others.
[00:06:45] And I, I’m very aware that, you know, a lot of people that we grew up with or that want something from us, they don’t really want us to have a know, Okay. We use, we use EFT tapping. We have a new Learn EFT course, and I can go to, I meant to bring the book so I can show everybody. Oh, do you have it there? I I, I have the author review copy that’s right here.
[00:07:13] Um, so, uh, Thriving now.com/tapping. Um, you can sign up for our emails and, and get, um, a free copy of the course as well. So we’re not gonna be teaching tapping, but you can follow along. Um, you’re muted so that you can repeat the words. You’ll hear Kathy and I echoing back and forth, and that’s a way that we do it as a group.
[00:07:36] And of course you can say no , um, you can change the words if you want to. Yeah. Even though they would never tolerate me saying no, even though they would never tolerate me saying no. And part of me is still aware and part of me is still aware when people want something from me. When people want something from me, they don’t want to hear no.
[00:07:58] They don’t wanna hear. No. And I accept where I. And I accept where I am and these conflicts I feel in me and these conflicts I feel in me up of the head. I want to feel free. I want to feel free eyebrow. They didn’t want me to feel free. They didn’t want me to feel free side of the eye. They wouldn’t hear my know.
[00:08:23] They wouldn’t hear my no under the eye if this is true for you. Uh, I was punished for saying no. I was punished for saying no under the nose and I’d have to do it anyway and I’d have to do it anyway. Jen, what’s the use? What’s the use? Why deal with the consequences? Why deal with the consequences of saying no?
[00:08:45] Of saying no under the arm? I am way too wise to think. There aren’t consequence way too wise to think. They’re not consequences. And that’s a conflict for me. That’s a conflict for me. So I do wanna feel free to say no. Because I do wanna feel free to say no. I think that’s a really important point, Rick, is cuz there are consequences.
[00:09:09] If I say no to a friend that really wants my help, they, you know, they may decide that we’re not as close or we may have to clean up some things. If, if, you know, a friend is in really big need and I’m also needing to take care of myself and I say, you know, normally I’d wanna be there, but I really don’t have it for you.
[00:09:26] Some people don’t take that well, they pull away. There can be consequences to be, to say no. The nice thing is adults, our prefrontal cortex is online and we’re actually making choices for ourselves and we have the ability to clean it up with the right people. So the kind of people that want freedom. So like if Rick called me, he is like, I’m in really bad shape, I need help.
[00:09:46] And I told him no. I trust that while he might be disappointed, we can clean it up very easily. There’s a real ease there. Um, but some people there isn’t. And maybe we have to train that in or maybe we need to say, Oh, that person I need to put a little distance. . Um, so I think there, there are consequences and it’s not, we’re not saying it’s freedom.
[00:10:06] You wanna do a tapping on the consequences? Yeah. Yeah. Karate tap. Even though I want my note, even though I do want my note and I want lots of freedom and I want lots of freedom, there can be consequences. There are consequences. If I say no to the doctor three times in a row, if I say no to the doctor three times in a row, they may not wanna schedule with me again.
[00:10:31] They may never schedule me again. If I keep telling my friends no, they may stop inviting me. If I keep telling my friends no, they may stop inviting me eyebrow. And I do wanna be there for my friends, and I do wanna be there for my friends side of the eye. No is powerful. No is powerful. Under the eye.
[00:10:53] There may be consequences, there may be consequences. Under the nose, But the consequence of never saying no, the consequence of never saying no means I never get to find me. I never get to find me collarbone. I never discover my freedom. I never discover and claim my freedom under there, but that seems like a really big consequence.
[00:11:16] Oh, I don’t, And that seems like a really, really big consequence. Tough. I don’t like the way that feels in my Bo top of the head. I claim my freedom. I claim my freedom, and I can actually deal with most of the consequences, and I can actually deal with most of the consequences. So just take a nice deep breath.
[00:11:42] I think that if we’re noticing a pattern like with a doctor or something like that, we might, we’ll talk about this later in the call, How can we find the, yes. How can we find a, a way to moderate our response to it? And one of the most powerful things I think, that we can realize is when we’re little, and I see this with, with Rick, with Aira, and I love using her as an example cause so many of us love her photos and feel connection to her.
[00:12:06] Um, they, Rick and Gem are amazing at honoring her know and trying to explain things to her. I love how they parent and there’s times when they’re late for her appointment or like, she just doesn’t wanna do, she doesn’t wanna put on clothes today or she doesn’t want to like get in the. And little kids don’t have a prefrontal cortex, like she can’t communicate well enough.
[00:12:28] They can try to explain to her, but there’s things that they have to do, like she has to, you know, there’s some things that are, have to be done, timelines that have to happen. I think that most of our parents weren’t quite as kind and patient as Rick and Jamar. Um, and they, I watch how hard they work with us and how much consciousness they bring.
[00:12:48] Um, but it could, I watched my niece take two hours to decide what blouse to wear. Like when she, you know, she was three and she got 'em all out and she didn’t want any of them and she finally put that one on, didn’t like it. Put that one on our pre, when we’re little, our prefrontal cortex, our decision making ability is very low.
[00:13:06] And our parents may legitimately, I mean, I was pretty fr I love my niece and I’m like, fucking put something on herself. Cause we can go. I didn’t use those words, but that was what was in my head. Um, so like, and I’m not raising her all the time. So there can be some impatience with people and there can be like, you know, like little kids will say no and sit on the floor or scream in the middle of the restaurant or whatever.
[00:13:27] So realize we’re talking a little bit different little kids. We still wanna honor their no and their boundaries as much as possible. But we’re, when we’re over 25, our prefrontal cortex is fully online and there’s a difference in our decision making. I think just important to throw that in there. Even though my body remembers, even though my body remembers, I wanna know, didn’t work times when a no did not work.
[00:13:54] When there was no room for a no, when there was no room for a no. Oh, and sometimes that is true, and sometimes that is true. How could sometimes that is true, Sometimes that is true eyebrow. There’s no room for a no, There’s no room for a no side of the eye. Not without really gross consequences, not without really gross consequences under the eye.
[00:14:25] What do I do with that? What do I do with that? I’m not gonna ask. I accept that. That’s sometimes the situation. I accept that. That’s sometimes the situation and, oh,
[00:14:43] and I want my clarity. I want my clarity. Hold on. I’m really tired of pushing myself, myself with half twos. I am really tired of pushing myself with half twos and to be arm. I’m really tired of not feeling like I could say no. I’m really tired of saying, just feeling. I can’t say no. Mm-hmm. . Yeah. I may be saying yes to staying alive.
[00:15:13] I may be saying yes to staying alive rather than say no. Rather than say no,
[00:15:25] I introduce, I just wanna pause here just to, um, for me, there are things that feel like, have tos and if I stay stuck in the, I can’t say no here. Um, it’s, it’s very uncomfortable in my system. So, for example, um, I may say yes in order to, I, I may, I may go along even though it’s not a yes for me, I may go along in order to save my life.
[00:15:59] That’s kind of core survival, my primitive brain. Smart man. Um, I know that it’s a no though, and I know that I could choose to, and I can even imagine situations where I would not choose to self preserve in a situation. Um, as weird as that sounds, and sometimes with tapping going back down to the primal, I’m, they’re gonna, they’re gonna hurt me.
[00:16:28] They’re going to leave me, they’re going to hate me. They’re gonna cast me out. Um, you know, that, that tapping on those feelings, um, as part of this practice of reclaiming our no and grounding our freedom in the capacity to, to be able to say no. If I, if I. And, and let me give you a nuance here cuz I, it feels like the, the time where it’s alive in me, um, it’s four o’clock in the morning, I’m exhausted and, and, um, someone calls and says, I need you.
[00:17:18] Come get me. Now, if it’s a person I love who’s on the list of people, that actually will get through to me at 4:00 AM if they call. Um, I can’t imagine saying no,
[00:17:41] I. But I can’t imagine saying no to someone. I love in those circumstances, what I’ve started doing for, Oh, ever since I found tapping, is when I catch myself saying, I go, I have to go help John. You know? Where are you going? It’s four o’clock in the morning. I have to go help John. I pause there and I say, This feels so important to me that I’m going to go help John.
[00:18:12] Yes. Do you notice the difference have to means I am compelled, I am compelled by obligation. I’m compelled by even like what I stand for. There’s nothing. I’m not language policing, but for me, if I’m really clear, this is the person I am, this is the relationship that matters to me. No, I wish this wasn’t showing up at four o’clock in the morning.
[00:18:39] And you know what I’m, I am not going to say no. I can’t imagine saying no, and I could, you know, but just relabeling that that is redirecting the energy. I think a lot of what we do with tapping is not, you know, sometimes it can seem like, Oh, we’re just changing the word I’m offering these. These different directions, I have to pay my taxes.
[00:19:10] As soon as I do that, I feel sick to my stomach, My throat, throat closes up. I’m aware that if I don’t pay my taxes, there are consequences. I don’t want those consequences. So what I would say is, you know, I’m, I’m saying yes to being a citizen of this country and one of the things that’s a part of that is to pay my, is to file and pay any tax that’s due.
[00:19:37] And I, I choose to, um, I could say no. I could be in the consequences of it. I could,
[00:19:50] and the freedom inside of me as I shift to, you know, I could say no here, no one actually has a gun to my head. It’s not even at that level of survival. Yeah. Um, and, and I’ve had to go through these things that remained as thorny, have tos. In order to feel much more consensual in myself and and with others.
[00:20:23] I think that’s really useful. And again, we’ll talk a little bit, but about ways to find a yes and something, look for yeses. And one thing, I had a good friend come in town and um, they had taken a, a train, they were taking the train to see me, and I would told them I, I’d pick them up until midnight, but the train was super delayed and they were getting any in at three.
[00:20:42] And I was like, I’m really glad to pay for a lift, but I’m gonna, I’m gonna go to bed. So it was like, it wasn’t d they weren’t in desperate need. Like there was a way, but I wasn’t gonna leave them at the train station. But I was looking, I looked for a different way to support them and help them feel cared about.
[00:20:58] I’m like, you know, just i’ll. Ring the doorbell, sleep on the couch. So I can let you write in, but I’m gonna get some sleep because staying up till three is not gonna be good for me. Um, and someone shared, I think this is useful, that they, someone said yes, um, about petting and had a really bad experience where they, the person attacked them.
[00:21:22] And I think that that’s, it’s really painful when we have, we’re doing something, we think the agreements are clear and someone often when someone attacks and starts, if, I don’t wanna share a lot of details here, but that, um, Kind of attacking character and pathologizing things. That’s a bully. That’s someone like, You must do what I want and I’m gonna, If you don’t, I will just hammer you until you are so sorry that you ever existed.
[00:21:52] That’s not a person I want in my life. And I’ve also, this may feel too soon for this particular share. It may be some, one of the best teachers you could. I had this happen with early on. Um, I had, was working with clients and I was doing people that couldn’t afford, I had various therapists and things referring to me, and I would work with them for free on e doing eft.
[00:22:18] And I had one person I kind of went through like their background, but they never disclosed. They were, uh, d i d They had multiple personalities and never told me. And, um, I think our third session in the middle of it, they, they, they’re, they switched personalities. They were suicidal. I’m a thousand miles away.
[00:22:35] No contact information. I would’ve never worked with that person, especially at the level I was now, I might work with them if I had a good contact with their therapist. I set different boundaries of people, but I didn’t know that at the time. And it was horrible. Like I was there, like trying to talk them down.
[00:22:50] I finally got them calm, got their partner online, but it was, I was terrified. I was like, What is the, the consequences to this seems so huge and like the consequences of people, Some people like tearing you down socially as well. Um, but from that, I, I pulled together like with what’s Rick’s help, but I pulled together the grounding exercises from that because I wanted to have something really powerful to offer if someone.
[00:23:18] Really got in their primitive brain. And so I spent several weeks just diving and digging in and finding everything I could. And there were, I had never found everything pulled together. I found suggestions, I found ways that the brain works, but, um, now there’s a lot more out there, but at the time, there really wasn’t.
[00:23:36] So I used that as a, that fear and that pain as a way to kind of dig into myself and find a different solution. And I’m just thinking about this. If there, maybe there needs to be a written agreement, maybe there needs to be boundaries that this is what I’m willing to do. And I, I don’t know if that would help or not, but I, I try to use that, the angst of that to try, what could I do to help myself be protected in the future and make sure that this doesn’t happen again.
[00:24:04] Um, so that for me has been helpful in kind of clearing some of the pain as well. When I use it for, like, it definitely tapped a lot with Rick and with other people. Like I was scared to, I was scared to. Do another client session cuz they’re like, I don’t know what’s gonna happen. And I’m really glad I didn’t run away.
[00:24:21] It was that particular person just had a bad wall on something. Um, and so now I ask questions a little more if they’re not, if I don’t know the person when I work with 'em, um, as well, like I didn’t know to ask that. I didn’t and they didn’t disclose. So I don’t know if that’s helpful. But I do find that it’s, if I can, where’s this, the weak point in this?
[00:24:42] What do I need to develop, learn, create so that maybe this, I can avoid this kind of thing, be in this kind of situation. Um, and someone else shared, I have fear around saying no to guidance, quote unquote guidance. And I really get that. Um, there it can feel scary. What’s interesting is that, um,
[00:25:08] Like, one of our concepts for thriving is discernment. Yes. And, and guidance that’s coercive to me is not, doesn’t fall into the guidance category. So this is where, you know, I, I’m pretty clear as a freedom oriented person that, you know, if I’m getting guided and I can’t say no without being like, what bullied.
[00:25:39] Punished, um, deprived. That’s not where I tune for guidance. There’s guidance out there. Let me tell you, you can sign up for people to tell you what to do, and they will, they’ll, they’ll threaten your, Well, Ill, If you don’t do this, then you know, you or you slime on the floor. Yeah. You, I mean, I meet other people.
[00:26:03] I can do that to myself. , things that I’ve ever done are people that have been told, Well, if you don’t do this, you’ll never, you won’t survive past 50 or you won’t, like, uh, so part of this clearly goes back to boundary. I’m tapping a lot because this is, this is hard. Like I, I want to live in the world where, um, if you say no to me, that I recognize and my whole being, you’re taking care of yourself.
[00:26:33] Mm-hmm. , and that I feel free enough to get my needs met in some other. Yeah, I don’t think, I can’t remember any time I’ve said no, that you haven’t said, Like you might say, Hey, I’m disappointed that this is happening. Like I was supposed to travel to see them and I didn’t like, but it’s been wholeheartedly like, I want you to do what’s right for you.
[00:26:53] That’s the opposite of a bully. We are allowed to have feelings. We’re not a bully if we say, Hey, I’m really disappointed and I want you to support your, take care of yourself. And a bully is like, I trusted you. You let me down. Look at what a horrible person you are. Like that’s kind of, that’s manipulating, that’s trying to get you, try to get you to change your mind against your own choice.
[00:27:16] And again, I think sometimes, like I might say, Hey, how about, you know, you’re not up to taking the train down. I’d still really love to see you. Um, what if I met you halfway in a car or something? Like, we can look at solutions without being bullied about it, but if they’re not willing to take your, No. If you’re not, like, I just kind of want to skate around the outskirts of that because I think a lot of times we don’t recognize people as bullies because mm-hmm.
[00:27:40] we are brought up with bullies and so that seem normal. Yeah. Even though they’re bullies. Even though they’re bullies. I know some, I know some, some, or even my relatives, some are, even my relatives and I have occasionally been one myself.
[00:28:02] I choose to know my own freedom. I choose to know my own freedom. And if it’s a no, it’s a no. If it’s a no, it’s a no top of the head. If it’s a no. It’s a no if, if it’s a no, it’s a no eyebrow. I choose to at least know that for myself. I choose to at least know that for myself, eye the eye. I choose to at least know that inside of me, I choose to at least know that inside of me under the eye, I’m doing this because I don’t want to get bullied.
[00:28:33] I’m doing this cause I don’t wanna get bullied under the nose. , it’s not a yes for me to do it. It’s not a yes for me to do it, Jen. And I don’t wanna be bullied and I don’t wanna be bullied, hold alone. And I may choose to do it anyway and I may choose to do it anyway under There is freedom there. There is freedom there.
[00:28:57] Even if it’s sort of icky , even if it’s sort of icky.
[00:29:05] Ah. I embrace that sometimes freedom is kind of sticky and icky, . I embrace that sometimes freedom is kind of sticky and icky. Yeah, I wish it was always very clear and easy, but this is a yes and this is, I had to get a crown put on the other day and I did not want it the day that it came, my appointment was, I was feeling kind of fragile that day.
[00:29:28] I did not want to go to the dentist and they’re really hard to schedule with. I really wanted to get this done and I chose to go, but I also talked to Rick before and I get off. When I came home, I did some things comforting for, I promised myself, Hey, I know this is tough. It feels like a hard day. How about we do this and this after?
[00:29:47] And that would kind of comfort ourselves. Um, so there are things that we have to do and we can choose. There are days I have called one, one time I did call into the dentist and I. I’m not feeling well and they’re like, Oh, it could be Covid, don’t come. And it was actually an emotional thing. I didn’t lie about it.
[00:30:04] I just was like, I don’t feel really well today. And they like jumped to it and said, Don’t come today. I’m like, Great. That’s what I wanted. Thank you for the freedom. Yeah. Um. But I think we, we get to ch we we’re, the discernment we talked about earlier, the guidance is like, we’re doing our best. And sometimes both things, maybe somewhat of a, you know, our options might be both the kind of, like, me canceling on a friend is kind of a no, but me going might feel like a no.
[00:30:31] It’s like, ugh, there’s not really a good solution. I hate to let my friend down, but I don’t really have the, the psychic energy to go and deal with a lot of people today. Um, let me see, Okay, is there an option? Can I call the friend and say, Hey listen, I’m not up for a restaurant, but if you wanna come here and we can just hang out quietly and have sandwiches, I’m glad to, but otherwise let’s reschedule.
[00:30:54] Um, and we’re looking for more and more people that are cool with that. Yeah, that’s, that’s really the, the, our third thing that we’re touching on already. Um, what might be a yes for me, um, and. Again, feel the difference between I’m trapped and I’m trying to get out of this. Like, Oh, I don’t, I I don’t wanna go to the dentist.
[00:31:21] What do I, I can lie to them. I can, I, like, there’s this, I don’t want to go the, the emotional freedom part of it is I could say, No, I don’t want to, They’re gonna be pissed. They may not reschedule me, and for a long time they may punish me. And you know what? If it’s really that much of a no, I give myself permission to say no.
[00:31:46] Yeah. And now I’m gonna explore the landscape a little bit more trapped. You can’t explore the landscape if you’re trapped. I have to, I, I can’t say no. That energy, you cannot explore the landscape. It will be more like, what, what’s my way of, um, of getting untrapped? I believe that acknowledging like, oh, okay.
[00:32:17] Uh, I could say no and their consequences. And so what, what could I offer? Um, what, what feels like my truth? I don’t want to go and can I, without doing harm to myself. Yes, I could go without causing harm to myself. I don’t want to go. It’s not a mm-hmm. , but, I can go without doing harm for myself. Now if it fell into, you know, if I go, I can feel inside of me, this would be harmful.
[00:32:56] There’s no congruence in my body. Mm-hmm. . Um, and this is the real skill part of it. That’s why this is a real skill workshop. This isn’t something that we just have a set of rules that you could, you know, do this tapping script and everything will be clear. Uh, I, no, um, no , no. That does not feel like my truth.
[00:33:22] But if I’m feeling like I can’t say no, giving myself that, I feel more free. And then this, you know, what might be a yes, I wrote about that in the invitation. What might be a yes for me, and you know, that you’re exploring the landscape if it includes a variety of different possibilities. Well, I know this person, if I lie to them, I’ve already, I already know what lie would work with them.
[00:33:56] If I lie to them about that, I’m no longer cut. And I, it makes it easy to say no without the consequences that’s on my list. I don’t like using that, but it’s freedom. There are people that is easier to say, I’m so sorry, this horrible thing has happened. And, um, I’m, as much as I really need, want to be there, I can’t be at.
[00:34:28] At this. Um, and I do think that, yeah, I like if you can tell the truth, you don’t have to give all the details, but it’s, I think it’s, it’s a good way to stand up for yourself and acknowledge. I think there’s a, there’s a little bit of a trap in that sometimes we don’t think our own desires are worthwhile and so we’ll make up something.
[00:34:50] That’s why I’m saying I’m, I, I, the landscape is, and, and I’m using this.
[00:35:00] Look, I was, I was punished for lying. And yet I lied. I lied at various times because I knew that, to tell the truth, the consequences were not something I could, Well, it wasn’t just getting in trouble. I told the truth at times where I would get in trouble, but like if the consequences were way too much, more than what I thought I could manage, um, I discover today that I am willing to, um, to conceal with people that are bullies and, and that are, these are not people that are close to me.
[00:35:38] Again, like right distance, right depth, the no of freedom. If I, if I know that the only way to say no to someone is to make up a story, they are not going to be close to me. Right? That’s. That’s just one of the essentials for me. They may be family, I may see them at family events. Um, they, they may be people that are part of our, you know, part of a social circle.
[00:36:02] Um, you know, especially if your social circle includes, you know, events that are open to the public, you may find yourself around people that like, Oh, I’m sorry, I’m busy that day. Oh, what about the next Sunday? Yeah, Sundays are usually almost never a good day for me. Uh, what about Wednesdays? You know, gosh, I gotta go.
[00:36:26] Oh, you know, you discover and I believe. The way that I, and, and people can, you’re welcome to disagree and say, No, I, this is not my path. But what I look at is I’ve got someone like Kathy and my partner too, that I can say, Look, I’m noticing that I am making up stories about, um, to this person rather than giving them my truth.
[00:36:50] And this is what I think is the repercussions if I were to have told them in this situation that, um, yeah, I, I, uh, I, it’s just not my, yes, I’d rather stay home and sleep, um, that, that, and they can check in with me and see whether I’m actually on the right track or whether that’s my own fear. And one point I’ve found people that are minor, like if, I’m not saying do this with a full out bully, but maybe it will work.
[00:37:25] But if I notice someone kind of has, maybe they have an unconscious tick where they kind of come back at me, If I say no, I can say, I know I, there’s something I like to talk to you about, and I’m afraid that you’ll do X, Y, Z if I do that. So I’ve already called it out, and if they do xyz, it’s really hard for them to ignore it.
[00:37:44] So, you know, I’d really like to talk to you about, um, our getting together on Sunday. Um, I’ve noticed, you know, I’m worrying myself that you’ll, you’ll be angry with me and, you know, kind of pout a little bit and, and, and make me I’ll, I’ll feel bad. So I don’t wanna really tell you, but I’m feeling like Sunday, I’m, I’m just, it’s been a really busy week and I really like to change, You know, I’d like to see you.
[00:38:07] Don’t wanna see you anymore or you know, can we change the date? Like, whatever it is, if you claim, if you acknowledge what you’re afraid of them doing with a certain group of people, it can be really helpful. They may not be even aware they’re doing that. Um, and I, like, sometimes I have, I’ve done things like, well, I’ll be really just, I do a, I guess I kind of do an Aira like, like when I’m really disappointed and I have one friend that just can’t handle that.
[00:38:33] He’s like, I feel like I have to do what you want. And I’m like, I’m just feeling my feelings. I’m not trying to change you. But he’s like, Oh, whenever you do that, I have to do whatever you want. You’re manipulating me. And I’m like, Okay. So I’ve learned with him. I just can’t do like, Aira is so lovely. You wanna give into her cause she just.
[00:38:51] She kind of collapses and a little like, she’s so sad, but she’s just feeling her feelings. Um, I think that one really important thing, someone asked about what’s the difference between Conjoling, um, and what was the other word? Coercion. Coercion. They’re different branches of the same thing. So if I, uh, cajoling is, if Rick and I are supposed to go out for ice cream, he decides it’s too cold.
[00:39:15] He would like to stand in and have hot cocoa and I really want to go out for ice cream. I can pout and like, Oh, come on. Please, please, please. I really wanna do that. I did this for you. Come on, come on. You know, it’ll be really fun. You can have a hot fudge or you can have a hot coco while you have it.
[00:39:31] Like, that’s not listening to his No, that’s cajoling. Um, coercion is like, You owe me, dude. You promised you’re gonna break. You know, like there’s kind of a. Uh, we might associate that with more with bullying, but they’re both a form of bullying. It’s different than saying, Hey dude, I get that you’re a no to ice cream.
[00:39:51] Can I ask you and check in? Is there to see if there’s some options that might work for both of us? Cause I’m really feeling the ice cream thing with you. So like, can I ask you, I can get his permission. He might be like, No, I’m just a hell no to ice cream. And then I get to be quiet with him and go tap or deal with my stuff.
[00:40:08] If he says, Sure. I’m like, How? What if I went out and got the ice cream and brought it back and, um, we sat by the fireplace in your house and I tuck you in with a blanket. And then I, and you know, would you like ice cream? He’s like, No, I have to like, you know, I’m open to other ideas, but otherwise I have to find some other way to take care of myself around that.
[00:40:30] So there’s a difference between asking for clarity or if there’s options. But if we keep doing that, if we keep going down option trails, sometimes we’re being a little coercive, if that makes sense. If we won’t. Right. Which goes into, Which goes into if we as emotional practi, you know, practicers of the skill.
[00:40:49] If somebody asks me something and they start into, I can tell their enthusiasm is really like, they really want this to happen. Um, yeah, that sounds so tiring. Someone. Um, yeah, it is tiring to have to engage that way. And, you know, there are really enthusiastic people. I think the world would be pretty flat if there weren’t people whose enthusiasm can carry people to do things that they sort of want to do or maybe they didn’t want to do.
[00:41:19] And then once they get into it, they’re like, Wow, this is amazing. This is life changing. You know, I don’t want to go to Tony Robinsons dog. Y’all have a great time. Come with me, grab you by the arm, bring you, and the next thing you know, you’re standing up on the seat with everybody. I’m so glad you know there.
[00:41:40] That’s where part of the skill is. If I leave myself without a pause, like, okay, I hear your enthusiasm. I need a moment.
[00:41:55] What’s my, yes, what would be a yes? And if we can, we can say what our yes is. Um, then we are giving them more enough information that we can also like, Look, this is a yes for me, and I’m not feeling like anything else is open for negotiation. If that’s not a yes for you Nama day, and, um, you know, um, I think we could do a whole, a whole, uh, like two week workshop on is seducing someone also bullying?
[00:42:39] Um, I will say that I want to live in a world that if somebody says no, says, Look, I am not interested in sex. That, that, no. Would be radioactive enough that it’s half life would be at least four hours, Right? With no pressure, seduction intention to work around that. That’s the world. I, as somebody who is, who has um, has experienced sexual trauma, that really is important.
[00:43:22] Like that’s a thousand times more important to me. . Um, that a no really is that Now I believe that, and Kathy and, and many of the other teachers, I’ve heard people talk about seduction. So for example, if you said, Hey, do you like being educ? conceptual seduction is fine. So if your word no doesn’t actually mean no, what is your No.
[00:43:51] Mm-hmm. . Oh, apple sauce. So if you say apple sauce, we’re done for the next, you know, until the next day. Right. Like, um, and so that can allow people to be in, in play. Yeah. Um, I, I’m, I’m really big on safer interactions and, um, but it should be, I believe that, Go ahead. I think it’s important, like if you’re going to, if you’re someone who loves that seduction where you’re like, No, no, no.
[00:44:22] A lot of us were acculturated to it and a lot of, unfortunately, a lot of people, especially male-identified folks, have been taught that you must push pasts seduction. That no, no, no. Like you have to seduce people. I think that having this like sitting down and saying, Hey, how do you like to be? Like, What is a yes for you?
[00:44:40] How would I know if it’s a no? Um, I love a lot of people that play in kink, but also in just this like kind of a power dynamic thing. It’s, you have an orange light and a red light, so your red light is apple sauce. Everything stops. Maybe your, your orange light is peanut butter. That means like, Kay, you’re kind of pushing on the edges of my boundary.
[00:44:59] You need to pull back a little, but it’s consciously discussed and work through. And when you were talking about that, I. When, if I’m trying to seduce someone and I’m only focusing on my own needs, or if I’m trying to interact with someone and, and find a yes, and a lot of people have been how to win any argument, like, whatever, I’m just thinking about me.
[00:45:21] And that’s very, that can be coercive or cajoling or non-consensual if I’m thinking about the relationship and both people, like, I like, uh, new culture talks a lot about what is the, the health of the relationship between us, almost as if it’s a third entity. Like if I’m also thinking about the wellbeing of our relationship and that other person that changes the energy of it.
[00:45:43] And it’s not just about, Hey, I wanna get my rocks off. It’s, I want, I’m caring about this person and wanting to deepen the relationship. I want us both to have a good experience. I think that applies for all of this. So if I’m trying to find a yes and, and I’m also, I’m also in that space of I can pay attention to our relationship and other person that, that matters too.
[00:46:06] Asking a few questions to try to find out how we could best go forward is lovely, but if I’m just trying to win the argument and get the other person to do what I want so my rocks get off, so to speak, that’s not gonna be, uh, a good, you know, like it’s not a consensual and mutual way. It’s not how I would choose to interact,
[00:46:31] even though it’s hard to say no, even though it’s hard to say no. It’s hard not to say no, and it’s hard not to say no, even though it’s been hard to say no, even though it’s been hard to say no, it’s been really hard when I haven’t said no. It’s been really hard when I haven’t said no. I want my clarity. I want my clarity.
[00:46:52] I want my no. I want my no, and I want know what’s a yes for me, and I wanna know what’s a yes for me, popping ahead and for them and for them eyebrow, but they’re not allowed to say. They’re not allowed to say no side of the eye. Oh, yes, they are. Oh, yes, they’re, I’m not allowed to say no. I’m not allowed to say no.
[00:47:15] Those, That means all kinds of things. That means all kinds of things. Jen. They’re not allowed to say no. They’re not allowed to say no. That means all kinds of things. That means all kinds of things. Although none of it’s good. None of it’s good. They’re, And I’m clearing out those old patterns. I’m clearing out those old patterns.
[00:47:35] Tap by tap, , tap by tap
[00:47:41] is no, a good thing is no a good thing.
[00:47:52] And this is, this is the question that
[00:48:00] I remember. A client that didn’t. That didn’t make it pass like 10 minutes with me. Um,
[00:48:13] they felt that certain people have to be obligated and that no is, is not good. It is a sign that the relationship is on extremely dangerous ground
[00:48:36] and I, I actually got that, like, in their world obligation are the ties that bind. Yeah. We, we, we recognize who has the, the authority to ask demand. Lightly kindly, but you can’t me glass of water to please sweetheart. , that’s really a no is not an option. Yeah, right. Yeah. It’s like . Yeah. Good luck if you said no.
[00:49:12] The obligation to do that, um, was fundamental to the structure that they wanted of their we space. Um, I, I cannot thrive in that kind of structure. I can thrive in a structure where I can’t imagine saying no. Yeah. 99.9% of the time, of course I’m gonna get, get a water. Um, and the difference of it being the optional
[00:49:44] If, if I asked my partner, would you, would you get me a water? And, and they said no. That is fine actually for me in my space, that there’s deep trust.
[00:50:05] Now, if it’s no, get your own damn water, that’s a sign that we’ve got a problem. . Yes. Or they, you know, they’re just in a really bad space. But that’s something we would clean up. Um,
[00:50:21] to me, if, if there’s no, if there’s an absence of no in the requests and things going on, it’s not actually a sign of wellbeing. I I, until someone says no to me about something that they know matters to me, I don’t actually feel like we are as close. That’s a threshold. My, So this is, this is where answering and I suspect the people that no is not the freedom word.
[00:50:58] No. Is, uh, like toxic waste in a relationship. For me, it’s a rejection. A lot of people take it as rejection. You don’t, Well, that’s why we were, I was tap hopefully starting to introduce in the tapping if, what does no mean to you? If no is a healthy word. If no starts, you start putting energy into No is good.
[00:51:21] I want to be able to say no. I want the people that love me. Um, if we’ve kissed 10,000 times and I say, Hey, you want to kiss? And they say No, I want to be like, yes. You, it is trusted me enough to say the truth. No. If it’s No, no, no, no, no, no, no. Well, we’ve gotta change in the relationship, at least related to kissing, but a no that it, that, that, that flows into the relationship to me is a good thing.
[00:51:52] Now, as soon as I do that, when I hear no, I will be coping with my reactions. Okay. This particularly applies to me. Yeah. As a parent. Um, when the boy says, No, there’s a part of me that goes right back to like, I need to teach him how painful that is going to be in the world. Because no, when I was eight years old would’ve meant
[00:52:18] And, and that’s my reaction. I’ve tapped on it. It’s gone from like a guttural scream inside of my core. Like no boy, little, you know, eight year old boys don’t get to say no. Um, to like, Oh, I really don’t like that. Um, and so by lowering the intensity of our reaction, we’re also freeing up everyone connected to us.
[00:52:45] I start, I start saying things like, Hey buddy, um, would you be willing to take out the recycling sometime in the next half hour? And no is okay if I say that I’ve already, I’ve already framed it. Yeah. Like, and he says, No, I’m working on my Pokemon cards. Okay, I’ll do it. Wow. And no is okay and no is good.
[00:53:11] And you got to practice asking for what you wanted and you gave him a chance to prac. I think that’s really lovely. Yeah. Would you be willing to watch your sister while I, while I do the soup and know is Okay. Um, I just need to know. I can’t imagine hearing that as a kid. Like I would love to No, there this, because that was, uh, I was raised in a parental hierarchy.
[00:53:37] A, a strict parental hierarchy where respecting your elders was the thing. Um, I. That’s, that’s not my model. Even though I’m still reactive when that’s not happening, when I see a kid SAS back their, their parent, there’s a part of me that utterly goes, ah, somebody about to happen. Sometimes it does, you know, you watch what is unfolding.
[00:54:04] Um, I think it’s okay to ask for respect too. And so that the tone, like whether someone’s bullying or being sassy back, I’ve gotten, I’m still a work in progress, but I’ll be like, Huh, I’m noticing hearing your tone. I feel, I feel a little tense. I’m, I’m feeling, I’m judging that you’re really trying to push me to do this, or, um, it’s.
[00:54:24] You know, like whatever it is, Like I don’t feel really respected by the way you’re speaking to me. And like, I let them know that the tone, there’s something about their tone that’s causing a reaction in me. And maybe, you know, sometimes it’s just I’m in a bad mood and I’m just picking things up. But sometimes it’s like they may not even realize how strong their tone is.
[00:54:43] Um, and I think when we have the courage, and I’m not saying do this with everyone, do it where it’s right for you, but practicing, building that muscle or like kind of calling things out, huh? I don’t, I’m not really enjoying your tone when you’re speaking about this. And it makes me not wanna try to find a solution.
[00:55:00] I just wanna be defensive and back away. Um, just sharing the truth that can be hard for people to hear, but also really useful. We’re gonna take a second minute break. Um, we’re gonna pause the recording and if you’re watching the replay, hi, um, we invite you to pause here and take. Let things settle, see what’s coming up for you.
[00:55:23] And when we come back, I’d like to hear, um, we do not have to go the full 90 minutes and you don’t even have to come back from the break if that’s not your Yes. Um, if there are things that are specifically coming up for you, I would love to do a series of tapping rounds, um, for all of us, but I would want them to be guided by some, some feedback from, um, those of you that are here live.
[00:55:48] Yes. So welcome back. Um, so I have something that, that, uh, a, a nuance that came up for me, but is there something that, that is alive for you, Kathy, with, with what we’ve explored far, far and we can build off of that if as it works. Yeah.
[00:56:17] So the other day, I, um,
[00:56:23] I’m really needing to go for a walk. Yeah, I’ve got my shoes on, I’ve got my jacket on, and, um, the request was made. Would you, would you get the boy ready cuz he can go to a friend’s house?
[00:56:49] And here’s how it played out in my nervous system. And it’s one of those things that I believe if we’re developing a skill, it’s useful to notice when the skill is, is strengthening. So the first thing that I felt inside me was, No, that is not what me space Rick wants to do.
[00:57:16] And I could feel. You know, I actually could say no. Here. It would have repercussions, but nothing. It’s not gonna harm the relationship if I, And then in that pause of freedom, there was a sense of what’s really right for me here.
[00:57:46] And I could feel, I could feel actually getting a boost of spiritual energy for lack of a better, That’s the sense of it for me is like this in welling of energy, of capacity, which I didn’t have, which I was going to get on my walk. And if I had felt trapped, like I couldn’t say no, I would not have been boosted by that.
[00:58:11] I would’ve been like, fine. That meant the, like, resistance. Yeah. I would’ve been trapped. I would’ve been, um, in my primitive brain feeling trapped, but doing something anyway. Instead, I felt this inflow of capacity because I knew it was a few minutes. Um, and I said, Yeah, I can do that. But you had to give yourself permission to notice your No.
[00:58:39] First the no was the, a truthful for me, just as a, a humanoid, um, in that moment it was a no. I could have said no freedom. So what’s now my Yes. Oh. Actually, it matters to me. It matters to me that the kids get to play with their friends. It matters to me that, um, you know, that I, I like ease. I like the fact that I have the freedom to go for a walk.
[00:59:16] It’s not time constrained. Like, it’s not like I’m gonna miss out. That if I, you know, it’s like, oh, there was actually an embrace of the flexibility. I’ve, I’ve crafted a lot of flexibility into my life to be responsive to the changing dynamics. Um, it surprised me how much energy I got in, in the, this is a no.
[00:59:47] I could say no. And now what it could have been that I said no, but by not by, by going through that, I was free for spirit to give me options. Um, I could have negotiated something a little different. I could have said, Well, I’ll get this thing ready and then I’m gonna go for my walk. I’m not gonna wait here until uh, they arrive.
[01:00:15] Yeah. So I think that’s really powerful. And one of the thing I think. We get energy from being with our truth. Like sometimes it’s scary, sometimes it’s challenging. Like there are times when I’m with my truth and it’s psychically draining, but in the long run it gives me energy. And sometimes if there’s mixed feelings, like I should go to the doctor and I also don’t wanna go to the doctor or whatever.
[01:00:40] If I give myself the space to, like, if I have time, especially if I have a little support, whether in the center or calling someone. And like I, you know, part of me wants to go, I’ve canceled three times already, but I really, you know, and I, I really should go and I wanna just really process my no and see what I come up with.
[01:00:58] Like, what’s coming up? No. No. And then sometimes I like, I’ll just yell at the mirror like a little kid, No, no, no, no, no, you can’t make me, or whatever, . Um, and you know, sometimes I get off the mirror a little bit depending on how much. I don’t wanna do something. I’m not the only one who doesn’t. No, um, you’re not.
[01:01:15] But sometimes if I clear that energy, I’ll find, like if I’ve given it space, I can find, And I’m not talking about overriding your guidance, I’m not talking about overriding something that’s very clear, but sometimes it’s a yes and I really wanna go out with my friends and I really don’t wanna go out with my friends.
[01:01:33] I really feel like I, I promise this thing and I said I would do it and I’m having trouble doing it. Can I give some space to the part of me that really is resistant or to both whatever’s coming up? Can I just acknowledge them and feel them in my body? Maybe do some tapping. Sometimes I’m surprised at how quickly it moves.
[01:01:52] Thank you. So going back to the primal reaction, the panic reaction. Um, so someone shared as a kid, no, was never an option because my brother and I were always threatened with being thrown out on the streets where my natural conclusion was death, you know, no equals death to me. Um, So in the skill building here, it’s like, okay, how, how true was it to me at that age?
[01:02:28] Whatever age comes to you, where this was really very clear wise. Why is being figured this out? No. Is death not something we’re going to say? Um, how true did it feel? No, is death back then. Okay, well, maybe that’s a 10. And then check in. Look at your hands now. Feel your body space. I, I am an adult with a different space and they’re not actually gonna toss me out on the street.
[01:03:00] They don’t have that power over me. How true does it feel, Still feel in my, Well, I’m not even talking just about my thinking part. How, how true does it feel? In my body know is death. It may be a 9.5, like wherever it is. That’s your skill starting point. And every little increment that you shift, that you will can palpably feel more free in your body.
[01:03:34] And this is how I would do it. Even though no was death back then, even though no was death back then, I was smart enough to figure that out. I was smart enough to figure that out. They threatened to toss us out. They threatened to toss us out. No would’ve meant death. No would’ve meant death.
[01:03:58] And I accept. I accept that that was my truth, and I accept that that was my truth. Is it still true for me now? Is it still true for me now? Even though no was death, even though no was death, and with some people it might still be, and with some people it still might be, Oh, is that really my life right now?
[01:04:25] Is that really my life right now? Now, if it is, I, I pray for you to get support and help to be around less violent people and less threatening people. I’m going to assume that things have changed at least a bit. Things are a bit different. Things are a bit different eyebrow. I don’t feel that as strongly in.
[01:04:48] I don’t feel that as strongly in my gut side of the eye. I, I felt the terror in my core. I felt the terror in my core, the eye. When I think of saying no. Now, when I think of saying no, no on nose, a part of me still says no. A part of me still says, No, no, no, it’s down. No, it’s down. No, no, no, I won’t. Yeah, I hear those echoes.
[01:05:16] I, I do hear those echoes. I feel those echoes. I feel those echos. I and I wanna be grounded in what life is like for me here and now. I’m gonna, I wanna be grounded and what life is like for me here and now.
[01:05:35] And I do, I wanna reiterate what Rick said. If you’re in a situation where there is physical danger for you saying no, there are a lot of help lines out there. There’s ways to get support. We really hope that you have the courage to do that because it’s very hard, I know. To, to emotionally and if not physically escape some of that.
[01:05:54] For the majority of people on these calls, it may feel like that’s real. Our survival brain does it. There is a, I believe it’s inherited like genetically level, like we understand in a hierarchical. Community that the alpha could actually kill us and probably get away with it, depending on how toxic the community is.
[01:06:14] There is a like, like, Oh, I can’t go against that person. And recognizing the access we have, the ability we have, and the different communities we have access to now could really make a difference. So like if I’m working at a company, I’m not, this is just hypothetical. If I worked at a company where there was a very toxic boss that was really haranging me and making me feel awful, I could look for a different job in that company.
[01:06:38] I could look for a different company. I have options that when we’re in primitive brain, we don’t always see. Um, and I think one of the goals, the the Real Skills workshop is about learning. When we do have the ability to change something and finding the courage and the wherewithal to change it for better, discerning that, Oh, this is pretty toxic.
[01:07:00] should I speak up to that boss? Should I go to hr? Should I find a different job? Like what are my options and which ones feel like the next best step for me? Um, that’s, I, although I think that’s half of what life is about. Um, so just noticing the power that you do have, the ability to change things. Um, and, and people are on a developmental spectrum and a, and a personality spectrum.
[01:07:26] And I already touched on the fact that some people, uh, saying no means that you are, are committing a crime against the obligations that are part of your relationship. Um, there are people out there and we do, we do signal that we’re okay with a no. Mm-hmm. . So for example, I intentionally structure my business even though there might be a financial cost at times.
[01:07:55] Um, if somebody starts a session and they wanna cancel. They can, There’s no punishment. If you wanna cancel in the last minute, you can, you can, you can show up for this and leave. You can, and nobody’s gonna be offended. You can, you can, um, Like I Practice. Practice. No. Think about the people in your life who feel on the safety scale, like pretty safe.
[01:08:31] And you can do things like, Hey, um, how do you feel when people say no to you? I think signaling that, that’s good. I just wanna, I have a 24-hour cancellation policy. My, I. Normally fulltime as well. So it’s okay to have boundaries. That doesn’t mean that you’re not No, my, yeah. That this is just my choice.
[01:08:54] Right. I just wanted to emphasize that just because you have a boundary doesn’t mean that you’re not, There can be con, you can set up clear consequences without being, Hey, I’m, I’m not, And often if I’m working with someone for a while and they’re having a bad day, I don’t mind once in a while, but new clients, I wanna set that boundary cuz I wanna take care of my time too.
[01:09:14] It’s pretty precious to me. Absolutely. Um, so I just wanted to make sure that was clear. Yeah, that’s, it was one example. Right? Um, I think the, the stronger example, um, like if, if somebody likes being an authority, power, those are not the people I practiced with at first. Okay. They are still people. If, if someone thinks that they have authority over me, I’m more likely to use my exit.
[01:09:41] Um, But, but this is a skill and it, and it really calls out to be practiced so that you can say like, No as a complete sentence, no period. There are places and workshops, um, where, where you can do that. Uh, cuddle parties, for example, is a workshop that every, uh, it, it is a cuddl party, but it, it starts with a workshop where the no game is a part of every single one because we want to normalize, uh, people hearing and saying no.
[01:10:20] Uh, it changes a space when people have practiced that it changes a friendship. Um, yes, I ask new friends, say, Hey, um, if I asked you to do something and you could tell that I really, really was excited and wanted you to join me, how hard would you find it to say no to me? And, and I will say that, um, it’s getting better and a lot of times I’m met with silence and that’s, that’s a starting point for a conversation because I’ll, I will say, Look, it’s really important for me to feel safe that I can say no, and it really helps me feel safe when I know that you can say no.
[01:11:10] How can we make this easier? Like, um, would you tattoo Rick on your forehead or Rick is awesome on your forehead? And usually when you throw something absurd in there they go, No. Great. That’s a start. . Yeah, they really hesitate. You can tell there’s probably a lot of conditioning acculturation there that, that you may have to work through.
[01:11:34] So it’s one way that you can. Also set the tone that I am going to say no in, in our relationship. And it’s important to me for my safety, for the, for cultivating the kind of relationships I want to have you start that. And you can do that with, with someone new. You can do that with somebody that you wanna consider taking the relationship to the, to the next level.
[01:11:59] You start adding in like, and, and please no is a perfectly wonderful answer. Um, when you ask someone to do something, cuz that starts freeing them to say no. And then you’ll start noticing that People will be like, No, I wish I could, but I just don’t have the money to do that. Right. You know, they’ll, they’ll, they’ll try to explain it away and you say, Hey, thanks for taking care of yourself.
[01:12:27] Appreciate, I appreciate you telling me. No, I think it’s really useful to, like, one of the things we teach in Cuddle Party or do you wanna finish your thought? No, go ahead. Great. One of the things we teach in Cuddle party is no as a complete sentence. Often if we try to explain it, like if I’m like, Hey Rick, would you take me to the airport tomorrow at four 30 in the morning?
[01:12:47] And Rick’s like, Oh, I really don’t wanna do that. Let me make an explanation. Like, Oh yeah, my car’s not working really well, maybe I shouldn’t. I’m like, No problem. You can use my car. And now he’s trapped. So when we try to explain our nos, often we’re kind of put ourselves in a corner. Unless we are looking for a way to find a yes that is a mutual yes.
[01:13:07] Like, hey, um, I’m really short on money right now. If you’re willing to gimme some gas money, I’m glad to take you. Or, you know, you know, or if you’ll sure, if you’ll take me, like there could be a quid pro quo, as long as it’s stated upfront and is clear, there’s nothing wrong with that. Um, but when we try to explain our nos, sometimes the other person will solve them for us, and then we can be trapped versus, you know, I’m just not feeling the yes to this.
[01:13:32] So it’s important to judge, like, am I looking for a way to negotiate, like kind of figure out a mutual shift, or am I just like, I don’t wanna do this. So if you can practice, And I practiced with my cat for a long time and she just did not care at all. Um, but I had to, I remember, yeah, she’d just look at me like, whatever, whatever’s.
[01:13:53] Um, but like I practice in the mirror, I practice with my cat. I, I had a lunch date with a friend and I’m like, I’m gonna practice my nose. So everything you ask me, I’m gonna be a no first. And then we can say, I’d like to change my mind. But getting those muscles built up is a really powerful thing. So if you’re not wanting to negotiate or find, you know, look for a different solution, I encourage you if you can, you don’t need to give an explanation for your No.
[01:14:18] Yeah. And you just, I’ve thought, I really felt, I love Rick will say, I felt into this prayerfully and I’m, I’m, I’m a no. And that, you know, it feels like, Oh, you care. You thought about it really hard. That’s sweet. So I kinda like that answer. I wanna said, I find it annoying when I tell someone no and they demand to know why I don’t want to.
[01:14:38] Um, they’re. Someone can be a bully. It also can be that someone’s not used to this. Yeah. And, um, even cool people, if they’re not used to you saying no, they may think that you’re saying no to them as a friend or as a person or someone that, that, um, that you want to spend time with. It may be true. So if it’s, if it’s someone I really don’t, I’m not investing into a relationship with them, I’ll say, Oh yeah, it’s for secret reasons.
[01:15:17] No, why aren’t you come it secret. S E C R E i’s personal. It’s personal. And if they push, I love secret. Yeah, yeah. Personal reasons, secret reasons. Um, you, you come up with something that, that feels like it works well for someone who really is not a tell you, but then I’d have to kill you. . Someone’s a . Yeah.
[01:15:41] There you go. Um, uh, another thing is, um, if it’s somebody that I do enjoy spending time with, I’ll, I’ll say something like, I, I love spending time with you and I, This doesn’t feel like a yes. So notice the difference between it just not, I’m not feeling the yes in it, this specific experience versus this invitation.
[01:16:11] This invitation is not feeling like a yes to me. And I’ll put my hand over my heart if I’m in and, um, That is a another, again, like I’m clear this, it’s not a no, it’s a no to, to go and do this, but I’m not a no to the broader relationship. You know, I want to be able to deflect bullies and things like that.
[01:16:36] And also led in without, And if someone said, I find myself, um, you know, having to explain.
[01:16:47] Yeah. And if you say secret reasons would make them more curious. You, you know, you wink at them and say, Yeah, secret reasons. Well, I mean, I also like to see if people are gonna respect my privacy. Like, if I don’t feel like explaining it, I might tell them another time or like, maybe I don’t wanna tell them.
[01:17:02] Um, my friends respect, I mean, I don’t think there’s much I haven’t told Rick, maybe just cause I haven’t thought of it, but there might be a time when I’m just like, I don’t wanna talk about it right now. Just, you know, I just want to, And I can’t imagine he would ever say anything, but I’m here if you wanna share.
[01:17:18] So like again, we’re train, we’re training the people around us how to treat us. So if you have longstanding relationships and you start shifting it, I really encourage you, especially if they’re people you trust, to tell them what’s going on. Hey, listen, I grew up without a no. I’m really working on my, no.
[01:17:35] I love your help. If you’re, if you feel it’s authentic. If I say no to you, could you encourage me and appreciate me cuz I’m trusting you enough to share my no. And when you’re telling things like that, that really helps them understand where versus a sudden shift, they’re like, is something wrong? Did I do something wrong?
[01:17:52] We’ve always done it this way. And they might get on board and it might be good for them too. And I do think it’s also important to remember that when we first start working a muscle, it feels really hard and our brain will think that it’s always gonna be this hard and it will not be this hard. I used to not be able to say no at all.
[01:18:12] It comes out really comfortably for me now. It took some work. I had to go to the gym, you know, practice on my cat and the mirror and Rick and people I trusted and kind of slowly expand that. But it’s really lovely. I have a lot more freedom in my life and a lot more ease and I’m, I used to do almost everything out of obligation, like my life was swimming and obligations jumping from one thing I said I’d do to another thing, or what you kind of guessing what other people wanted and doing it so that I didn’t, you know, gave me a little freedom if I got ahead of them.
[01:18:43] Uh, versus, Hey, what do I want today? What do I need today? Right in this moment. Well, thank you for being here and exploring this. We’ve had a couple of other things like. A hard time saying no to appointments and commitments. What you can discover is, for example, that no, it is not, um, I never make an appointment or commitment that doesn’t have an exit.
[01:19:11] And if somebody, like, if it, if it costs me, if I know that it’s gonna cost me a thousand dollars, whether I show up or not, that’s okay. Yeah. But I can still say no to it. You understand the consequences there. I want to make, you know, like this is, if you, if you schedule with Kathy, what she said is 24 hours notice, you know that there are consequences.
[01:19:36] You may not, you, you may not, those consequences may not work for you. If, if I have Aden, you know, again, you’re exploring, how do I feel more free here? Hard time saying no. Is made easier if we, if we tend to the we space. So for example, if it’s a 24 hour cancellation and I notice that my life is feeling kind of chaotic, it’s not feeling in my body like, you know, it’s the chance of me being available tomorrow for this, uh, session with Kathy is, is small.
[01:20:17] I’m gonna cancel now at the 24-hour point because she said that works for her. You start asking people, Well, what works for you if, if plans need to change? Yeah. Oh no. Like if we get these tickets, we’re going, I say, I hope you have a great time. That never works for me. You know, someone said that they use the expression that, that doesn’t, that’s not good for me.
[01:20:45] That’s another way of saying it, like, um, yeah, it never works for me. To, to harm our relationship if for some, for, for a multitude of possibilities. Um, it’s not a yes for me to go at the time of the concert or the time of, you know, the trip. So those are things that I talk about as awkward as it can be. Um, and again, like workplace cultures where, um, I don’t work in workplaces where I don’t have an option to set boundaries.
[01:21:20] Um, and I think we’ve gotten a lot better in my lifetime. You can set sexual boundaries in workplaces. It’s even by law. Um, there’s laws related to abuse, physical abuse, working conditions. We do have boundaries. Extend the ones that are important and make sure that those are a part of the landscape, maybe even part of the agreement.
[01:21:43] Um, that’s, you know, that’s works for me. I have multiple streams of effort, um, and I’m self-employed now. But even when I was working for someone, I made it very clear, um, the things that I needed in order to, to be, um, there. Again, I like noticing my, where I, cuz I work in corporate, I will often try to notice where I do have choice.
[01:22:11] Cause not like if there’s an urgent meeting, I have to get that thing done. But often I have the option to go get a coffee or take a walk first. Do this, like maybe I’ll do this project for half hour. I’m gonna switch. I notice the choice I do have and kind of feel into my yes. Um, and that, that often if I think I just have to do exactly what they told me in whatever order, it’s very rigid.
[01:22:31] I don’t feel good. But if like, oh, I can go take a five minute walk, say hi to someone, get some coffee and I’m gonna sit down and I’m gonna notice which of the three projects it needs to get done draws me forward. And I’m gonna like, choose what part of that to work on. And then I’m gonna stick after half an hour, I might, you know, take another break and, and just check in on, like, it gives me more freedom, more choice, and then I feel less trapped.
[01:22:54] Exactly. Thank you, Cathy thank you all. I really love this call, this talk to, and everything everybody shared. Mm-hmm. . All right. Um, we continue, , emotional resilience and, and the like coming soon, so. Right way, Rock it. See y’all later. . Bye. Bye everyone.
- What stops you from saying NO?
- What were the consequences if you said NO as a child (or even thought about it!)?
- Neutralizing the have-to’s that drive us to do things that are a NO for us… and feel more free and less trapped
- After freeing ourselves from the “can’t say NO” we can explore what might be a YES for us with a broader range of possibilities.
- The difference between “can’t imagine saying NO” and being unable to say no.
- How do we communicate around people saying NO, and communicating our answers?
- Exploring consent in different intimate contexts
Great to have you on this journey with us!
So far i have finished following up to first 30 minutes of the workshop and shall i share what resonated?..Almost entire 30 minutes. And it has taken more than 90 minutes to listen and re listen and follow and journal the 30 minutes.
I feels like this workshop is specifically designed for my needs.
The tapping round …
Even though they are bullies…I know some…some are even my relatives…sometimes occasionally I have been so my self….I choose to know my freedom….and if it’s a NO its NO…
ToH: Its No its No
Eyebrow : I choose to at least know that for myself.
SoE: I choose to at least know inside of me
UtE: I doing this because I don’t want to get bullied
UtN: Its not a yes for me to do it.
Chin: and I don’t want to be bullied
CB : And I may choose to do it any way
UtA: there is freedom there. Even if its sort of achy
ToH: I embrace that sometimes freedom is sticky and achy
Even though they are bullies…
…i embrace that sometimes freedom is sticky and achy.
Being acknowledged and understood already gives so much strength and sense of freedom. Further ahead when i continue exploring Yeses for me and clues to follow them; its going be really freeing!
Thank you for writing that out. I had said “icky” not achy in the call, yet WOW, ACHY works even better so often. It hurts when we’re not in our YES.
This kind of pre-framing says to the other person, “I am asking. And what I am wanting is your answer from a place of freedom, and NO is an Okay answer.”
How incredibly powerful that is… Freeing, even!